Understanding The Link Between Stress And Stroke
Chronic stress directly impacts the cardiovascular system, which damages the arteries when left unmanaged. Vascular damage can eventually lead to a stroke, which is a medical emergency caused by a clogged or burst artery in the brain.
Chronic stress most commonly comes from work, relationships, or financial struggle. While we cannot always control these situations, we can control how we respond. Choosing activities like exercise and deep breathing can help reduce stress levels and, as a result, reduce your risk of stroke.
Understanding Anxiety And Insomnia
Whats behind the more stress, less sleep connection? If youre frequently triggering your stress response, your body never gets back to its baseline, says Johns Hopkins sleep expert Luis F. Buenaver, Ph.D., C.B.S.M.
Stress and sleepless nights are closely linked, Buenaver says. If youre in pain, tend to worry, or are coping with a difficult situation in your life, you may have more stress hormones than usual circulating in your body. A poor nights sleep adds even more. And those hormones may never be fully broken down. Its like running an engine in fifth gear all the time.
Tracking Your Stress And Mood
CareClinic is a very useful stress tracker, helping you see when you are more stressed or relaxed. As you continue to track your mood, you will be able to see a general tendency and even a pattern in your stress level changes.
From a different perspective, the stress tracker app will help you understand that there are a lot of moments in which you felt perfectly fine, relaxed even. For this reason, it is important to take your time and record not only the moments that seem difficult or when your stress level is at its maximum. You can also record positive experiences and these will help you see the bigger picture. You can identify which factors help you deal with your stress.
The mood tracking feature in CareClinic is important, it allows you to become more aware of your feelings and when stress occurs in relation to various situations. You will figure out the connection between a particular life event and your mood, discovering more effective stress management strategies.
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Causes Of Insomnia: Figuring Out Why You Cant Sleep
In order to properly treat and cure your insomnia, you need to become a sleep detective. Emotional issues such as stress, anxiety, and depression cause half of all insomnia cases. But your daytime habits, sleep routine, and physical health may also play a role. Try to identify all possible causes of your insomnia. Once you figure out the root cause, you can tailor treatment accordingly.
What Are The Causes Of Insomnia
- Adjustment insomnia
- Sleep-restriction therapy
Sleep hygiene educationAddresses behaviors that are incompatible with sleep such as caffeine or alcohol use, environmental noise, inappropriate room temperature, and watching TV in bed.
Cognitive therapy and relaxation therapy
- Correct inaccurate beliefs about sleep
- Reduce fear and excessive worrying
- Relaxation therapy: The patient is advised to recognize and control tension through a series of exercises that consist of first tensing and then systematically relaxing each muscle group.
- Guided imagery and meditation to focus on neutral or pleasant thoughts
Stimulus-control therapyWorks by associating the bed with sleepiness instead of arousal. Rules for this therapy include:
- Use the bed only for sleeping and sexual activity .
- Go to bed only when sleepy.
- If unable to fall asleep in 15-20 minutes, get out of bed to do something relaxing until sleepy this can be repeated as often as needed.
- Do not spend more time in bed than needed.
- Establish a standard wake-up time.
- Avoid daytime napping.
- Sleep-restriction therapy is based on the fact that excessive time in bed can lead to insomnia. Limiting the time spent in bed leads to more efficient sleep.
- Works by limiting time in bed to the patients estimated total sleep time and increasing it by 15-30 minutes for a given week period until the optimal sleep duration is achieved.
Medication to treat insomnia
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Common Psychological And Medical Causes Of Insomnia
Sometimes, insomnia only lasts a few days and goes away on its own, especially when it is tied to an obviously temporary cause, such as stress over an upcoming presentation, a painful breakup, or jet lag. Other times, insomnia is stubbornly persistent. Chronic insomnia is usually tied to an underlying mental or physical issue.
Anxiety, stress, and depression are some of the most common causes of chronic insomnia. Having difficulty sleeping can also make anxiety, stress, and depression symptoms worse. Other common emotional and psychological causes include anger, worry, grief, bipolar disorder, and trauma. Treating these underlying problems is essential to resolving your insomnia.
Medical problems or illness. Many medical conditions and diseases can contribute to insomnia, including asthma, allergies, Parkinsons disease, hyperthyroidism, acid reflux, kidney disease, and cancer. Chronic pain is also a common cause of insomnia.
Medications. Many prescription drugs can interfere with sleep, including antidepressants, stimulants for ADHD, corticosteroids, thyroid hormone, high blood pressure medications, and some contraceptives. Common over-the-counter culprits include cold and flu medications that contain alcohol, pain relievers that contain caffeine , diuretics, and slimming pills.
Cognitive And Behavioural Treatments
If changing your sleeping habits doesn’t help, your GP may be able to refer you for a type of cognitive behavioural therapy that’s specifically designed for people with insomnia .
The aim of CBT-I is to change unhelpful thoughts and behaviours that may be contributing to your insomnia. It’s an effective treatment for many people and can have long-lasting results.
CBT-I may include:
- stimulus-control therapy which aims to help you associate the bedroom with sleep and establish a consistent sleep/wake pattern
- sleep restriction therapy limiting the amount of time spent in bed to the actual amount of time spent asleep, creating mild sleep deprivation sleep time is then increased as your sleeping improves
- relaxation training aims to reduce tension or minimise intrusive thoughts that may be interfering with sleep
- paradoxical intention you try to stay awake and avoid any intention of falling asleep it’s used if you have trouble getting to sleep, but not maintaining sleep
- biofeedback sensors connected to a machine are placed on your body to measure your body’s functions, such as muscle tension and heart rate the machine produces pictures or sounds to help you recognise when you’re not relaxed
CBT-I is sometimes carried out by a specially trained GP. Alternatively, you may be referred to a clinical psychologist.
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How Is Thyroid Inflammation Treated
Indeed, going through thyroiditis can be devastated, primarily because it affects the quality of life. Even so, you dont have to feel overwhelmed since the condition can be treatable, and you can continue enjoying life. Typically, treatment depends on the stage, type, and symptoms of thyroid inflammation.
- Use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin and cortisone to manage thyroidal pain and inflammation.
- Beta-blockers help alleviates heart palpitations, tremors, and sweating.
- Radioactive iodine aims at shrinking the enlarged thyroid.
- Anti-thyroid medications, such as propylthiouracil and methimazole
- Thyroidectomy: This may be necessary when other treatment modalities are not applicable.
- Graves Ophthalmopathy can be treated by using artificial tears or undergoing Orbital decompression surgery.
- Use of hormone replacement therapy to manage hypothyroidism.
- Antibiotics medications to treat thyroid inflammation resulting from an infection
Nowadays, physicians are applying innovations and tests to help make a prompt diagnosis of thyroid inflammation disorders. If you start experiencing stress and anxiety, among other thyroiditis symptoms, contact your GP immediately. Additionally, if you know of someone suffering from thyroid inflammation symptoms, ensure you refer them to a reliable physician.
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Impact On Bipolar Disorder
If you have bipolar disorder, you may enter a depressive phase in autumn and winter. You may have episodes of euphoria or mania . This is due to fewer daylight hours. You will need more help to manage your condition.
You may also suffer from sleep problems and feel worse at a particular time of day. Sometimes using a bright light can help these symptoms.
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Stress Relief Techniques To The Rescue
Activities that switch on the bodys natural relaxation response feel great, Buenaver says. And they have been proven by research to improve sleep. They help by reducing the release of the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline and by slowing your heart rate and breathing. Your body and mind calm down.
Yoga, tai chi and meditation are helpful stress relief techniques. So are these two simple exercises that Buenaver recommends to patients who are struggling with sleepless nights.
- In a quiet place, sit or lie down in a comfortable position. It may help to close your eyes.
- Breathe slowly in and out for about five minutes. As you inhale, breathe down into your belly. Focus on your breath.
- If youd like, repeat to yourself, Breathing in I am calm, breathing out I am coping.
Progressive muscle relaxation:
- In a quiet place, sit or lie down in a comfortable position.
- Take a few gentle breaths, in and out.
- Begin tensing groups of muscles one at a time as you breathe. Hold the tension as you inhale, then release it as you exhale. Take a few breaths as you notice how relaxed each muscle group feels.
- Start with the muscles in your head, neck and face. Move down to your shoulders, hands and arms, back, stomach, buttocks, thighs, calves and feet.
- Repeat for any areas that are still tense.
As you go through this exercise, feel the presence and absence of tension so you can spot lingering tension and do something about it, Buenaver says.
Can Stress Or Anxiety Cause Sleep Apnea
January 8, 2015 by Jenny
Hi. Its Jenny at AnxietyBoss.com. Our question today is from Jim in Columbia, North Carolina. Can stress or anxiety cause sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea can be a cause for concern because it affects the way you breathe when youre asleep. Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common type, and this is when the soft tissue in the back of your throat relaxes and blocks the airway. This is what causes the accompanying loud snoring. Breathing is interrupted for a number of seconds throughout the night, and when you are asleep, breathing is shallow and you dont enjoy the deep sleep which is necessary to be reenergized and refreshed for the next days activities.
The complications associated with obstructive sleep apnea are heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure. There is the danger that because of a difficulty with concentrating, clear thinking is diminished and even driving a car becomes hazardous.
This pattern of sleep deprivation means poor concentration and sluggishness at work or at school. Often its accompanied by loud snoring. Sleep apnea can lead to serious health problems such as high blood pressure, weight gain, heart disease and stroke. Another symptom of sleep apnea is waking up with sleep paralysis. People become so afraid of this that they fear sleep and insomnia results.
Sleep apnea is a chronic condition and this means long-term care and also management.
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How A Pharmacist Can Help With Insomnia
You can buy tablets or liquids from a pharmacy that may help you sleep better.
Some contain natural ingredients while others, like Nytol, are an antihistamine.
They cannot cure insomnia but may help you sleep better for 1 to 2 weeks. They should not be taken for any longer.
Some of these products can have side effects, for instance, they may make you drowsy. This could make it difficult for you to do certain things like drive.
Check with your doctor before taking anything for your sleep problems.
What Are The Causes Of Insomnia In Teens
Insomnia has been estimated to affect up to 23.8% of teens. Biological changes push teens toward a later, night owl sleep schedule, but they usually cant sleep as long as they would like in the morning because of school start times.
Teens may be especially susceptible to overscheduling and stress from school, work, and social obligations. Teens also have high rates of using electronic devices in their bedroom. Each of these factors contributes to a high rate of insomnia during adolescence.
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How Does Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Treat Sleep Anxiety
CBT is a form of psychotherapy, or talk therapy. It teaches you how to change your behavior by changing the way you think. Its a common treatment for people with anxiety. A special form of CBT called cognitive behavior therapy for insomnia focuses on helping people who have insomnia. This therapy can take anywhere from six to 12 weeks to produce results.
During CBT or CBTI, you may learn to:
- Avoid behaviors or environmental factors that trigger your anxiety or make sleeping difficult.
- Better understand how sleep and anxiety affect your brain and the rest of your body.
- Change negative or inaccurate thinking about bedtime or sleep.
Your therapist may teach you how to sleep with anxiety by using biofeedback. Biofeedback trains you to control your bodys functions. You learn to relax your muscles, regulate your breathing, lower your heart rate and focus your attention. Your therapist might use special sensors to measure these bodily functions, or they may give you exercises, such as deep breathing and meditation, to do at home.
Insomnia: Prevalence And Definitions
Insomnia is considered to be the most common sleep disorder. Its prevalence varies considerably based on the definition used. While one-fourth to one-third of the general population reports a complaint of difficulty falling and / or staying asleep , about 10% present chronic complaints and seek medical help for insomnia. However, insomnia has always been and still is an under-recognized and therefore under-treated problem, since about 60% of the people suffering from insomnia never talk to their physicians about their sleeping difficulties. The inadequate identification and treatment of insomnia has significant medical and public health implications. Chronic insomnia results to impaired occupational performance and affects quality of life.
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What Happens When You Have Chronic Stress
When you experience a perceived threat that is physical or psychological or real or imagined, your hormonal stress response gets triggered, creating a cascade of physical events. These changes lead to the release of glucocorticoids like cortisol by the endocrine system. The release of cortisol and other stress hormones creates a burst of energy that allows you to fight or run from a real and present danger that triggered your response.
A normal stress response involves a quick cortisol spike followed by a rapid decrease once the stressful event has occurred. The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis in the central nervous system is largely responsible for this increase and decrease. The HPA axis also plays an important role in modulating the 24-hour sleep-wake cycle. Prolonged stress levels have been correlated with HPA axis hyperactivity, decreased sleep duration, and reduced REM sleep and delta power. This leads to poorer quality sleep, impaired memory, poorer mood regulation, which can, in turn, lead to more stress.
What Are The Symptoms Of Insomnia
First, a quick primer on what this sleep disorder actually does to your body and mind. Potential symptoms of insomnia may include:
- Struggling to fall asleep
- Lower energy, motivation, or performance at work or school
- Being more prone to mistakes and accidents
- Feeling frustrated or worried about poor sleep
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Sort Out Your Finances
65 percent of Americans lie awake due to money issues. Sometimes easier said than done, sorting out your finances can be a good way to reducing your stress and helping you to get a good nights sleep.
While it might not always be easy to reduce financial stress, you might be having trouble sleeping because you havebeen avoiding your financial problems and, because they dont just disappear, they will haunt you, at night.
Clinical Implications: Evaluation And Treatment
Chronic insomnia is a difficult disorder to treat and the importance of a multidimensional evaluation that includes thorough sleep history, medical history, physical examination and drugs / substances use, as well as psychiatric assessment has been stressed for many years, although frequently overlooked in daily practice.
The data reviewed in the etiologic factors and pathophysiologic models section of this chapter, call for an emphasis in elements of the evaluation that should be investigated in the diagnostic work-up of an insomniac patient. It was shown that middle age and menopause are associated with sleep changes that make the subject more vulnerable to the effects of physical or emotional stress. For example, the use of beverages with stimulant substances, i.e. caffeine, will be associated with more sleep disturbances in a middle- aged or old individual compared to a young individual. Also, a post-menopausal woman would be expected to be more vulnerable in terms of sleep disturbance to life-related stressors, i.e. family difficulties, professional pressures etc. Moreover, eliciting information about the use or not of HRT in menopausal women, may explain differences in terms of sleep complaints in post-menopausal women. These physiological differences may also explain, why depression, a disorder with increased CRH and cortisol production, in middle age is associated with insomnia, whereas in the young is associated with hypersomnia.
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How Can I Prevent Insomnia
Lifestyle changes and improvements to your bedtime routine and bedroom setup can often help you sleep better:
- Avoid large meals, caffeine and alcohol before bed.
- Be physically active during the day, outside if possible.
- Cut back on caffeine, including coffee, sodas and chocolate, throughout the day and especially at night.
- Go to bed and get up at the same time each day, including weekends.
- Put away smartphones, TVs, laptops or other screens at least 30 minutes before bedtime.
- Turn your bedroom into a dark, quiet, cool sanctuary.
- Unwind with soothing music, a good book or meditation.